And so it begins….

So, I have the need to develop a strategy for how parts of 2017 are going to pan out.  I have several ideas of things I want to accomplish along with ideas of things I want to work towards (goals and such) that are not just basic New Years goals and something that I will forget or abandon within 5 days of the 2017, but hopefully achievable goals.  These are ideas that need to come to fruition and my hope is that by putting them in writing and forcing myself to update my status through blog posts on a weekly basis, I can complete a large number of them.

First off, why am I doing this?  The long and short of it is that I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for a long time.  Some of this marked part of the reason that my marriage ended (though I am hard pressed to take all, or even more than 50%, of blame for that loss…) and good portion of it has descended upon me due to the loss of my marriage.  Since I was told, a scant two days after my birthday in 2013, that she wanted a separation, I have been pretty inconsolable, depressed, anxious, angry, unmotivated, and dispassblack-depressed-heartbroken-quotes-favim-com-3188220ionate about pretty much anything.  This has continued unabated up until now and I don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.  I am a lot better than I was 2 years ago, but honestly, that is not saying much.  It has shown itself in my hobbies, my social situations (as few of those as I tend to find myself), and my work.  my hobbies have most generally been put to the wayside and even in moments of clarity, I find myself falling into the pit of zero motivation and fall back on the couch, captive to the TV.  Social situations are generally a complete bust as I haven’t dated, much less met anyone since the separation (which means I haven’t dated since 1996, only a short 20 years…) and going out being around people is all but a swan dive into the pool of anxiety.  In work I have found myself in a rut and need to crawl out for fear of losing my position because of a lack of forward momentum (learning new things, developing my skills, etc..)  I don’t fear losing my position at the moment, but it is a competitive industry and I need to show that I am not just stealing oxygen.

So now it comes down to where I am now and what I would like to accomplish.  I am not sure of the exact words to use, because I don’t want to totally let myself down if I fall short yet I don’t want to make things just a possibility without a deadline.  I will think about that more and see what would be a better method of stating this.

As of today, December 2nd, 2016, I am financially not well.  I have made a few decisions, in order to ensure the kids have what they need, the car is in good repair, and my physical issues (dental, primarily) are taken care of that have put me in a some pretty dire straits.  Some of this is my doing and some of this is a pay disruption by big government that has affected me significantly.  I am weighing in at a robust 270 pounds (give or take 5 pounds either way) and that is simply untenable.  I can’t walk up a flight of stairs with any gusto without ending up breathing heavy and sweating to the point of swampiness…  Let’s just say, not good.  My diet continues to be horrible and I spend too many hours and days thinking about everything that has gone on or has gone wrong in the past few years.  Something needs to change and I am getting very close to the breaking point (not the psycho postal breaking point or anything like that, but something has to change point…  Just to be specific).  What do I do?

Some of the ideas I have decided upon are specific, while some are more general, but overall, this is the list I have come up with at the moment.  Some of these are popping into my head as I write this and others I have already verbalized but haven’t taken action on:

  1. I need to start reading more.  I actually have glasses now (for reading) and I need to put them to use.  My mind is not the instrument it used to be and I am noticing that more and more these days.  I forget the simplest of things and my attention span is critically low.  I chalk that up to my sleep apnea, my depression, and the fact that half the time I live my life around TV shows and a few movies.  These bite sized momentary distractions are not providing the healthy internal dialogue that I need.
  2. I need to exercise.  I have been a stagnant bastard for far too long and it is ridiculously apparent when I look in the mirror and see multiple chins, a drooping belly and feel simply terrible when I do anything active.  This also lends itself to a few other activities I have the intention of completing this coming year and years after.
    • A Century Bike Ride.  I picked up a decent road bike a couple of years ago and got myself up to riding 42 miles (riding the Banks – Vernonia Trail which is 21 miles one way).  Graveyard shift hit and I fell off the wagon with that, and then it was any number of excuses after that which kept me away.  I intend to be able to ride at least multiple 40 mile rides and a 100 miler this coming summer.
    • Section hike of the PCT.  A month or so ago I started to really get engaged in watching some of the trail videos posted on YouTube by thru hikers of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) and the AT (Appalachian Trail).  My initial thought is to section hike the Oregon portion of the PCT over a couple of week period.  Depending on how my stride ends up being as I train, it could be done in just under 20 days or, as my boss has suggested, split into two sections which would be less than two weeks each.  This would make it easier to schedule, less planning overall and, in the case of work, easier to allow for time off and yet not take too much time away from others!!  I get it and understand the predicament my boss would be stuck in while trying to plan others vacation time and schedule consistent shifts.  The Oregon section of the PCT runs approximately 489 miles starting just at the California border and ending at the Bridge of the Gods.  A lot of planning involved in that regardless.
    • Getting out and hiking.  While the PCT is a nice goal, getting out and hiking anything is on the radar.  Of course it will help me to prepare for my major goals, but just getting out and away from people and things in general can’t be anything but a positive.
  3.  I need to work on my finances.  Bottom line here is that I have a specific amount of money that I need to make up for in the income in order to be able to survive month to month.  This also comes with several ideas:
    • Work on online classes.  I have started to teach online classes on one platform with the option to work on others as well.  My classes will be linked from the courses tab at the top of the page or can be found specifically on the Skillshare website.  Future classes in the future as I continue to expand my list.  In order for this to be even remotely viable as an income stream I need to work on more classes and can (or should) develop at least 2 classes per month.
    • Look for additional income streams.  This will involve doing some affiliate marketing via Amazon (for one) and hopefully I can develop even the most basic of residual income streams from this.  I am not a salesman so this is fundamentally a difficult area for me, but I intend on focusing on areas that people would realistically be interested in and not just a bunch of junk.
    • Part time online income.  This could be in the form of any number of work at home type programs, though finding things that are not scams and that will provide even the most modest of incomes has been an uphill fight.  Doing online transcription, teaching classes, online tutoring, etc. are all possibilities that I am looking into.  We will see what I find.
  4. I need to start writing more.  Just finished up with this years NaNoWrImO and it was a disaster!!  In case you are unaware of what that is, the Nanowrimo is the National Novel Writers Month and is conducted during the month of November.  You essentially try to write a somewhat understandable novel of 50,000 words or more over the month.  This year I wrote a whole total of 0…  Yep, 0 words.  Couldn’t get my motivation off of the ground to even attempt it.  This is something I have wanted to do for a long time (and to get something published as well) but have had a hell of a time getting there.
  5. I want to learn photography.  This is something I have wanted to do for a while as well.  My daughter is developing a good eye for subjects to photograph, but I am still pretty far behind.  This includes some video as well.
  6. I want to work on models more.  I have an interest in plastic model building (mostly WWII and science fiction) and have since I was a kid.  My motivation, or lack thereof, has really hindered that passion.
  7. I want to learn basic keyboarding and the penny whistle.  Another thing I have wanted to do for years but have put almost no energy towards and for no good reason whatsoever…
  8. I want to complete more computer certifications and trainings.  This includes retaking my first Linux exam, as the testing upgraded while I was trying to finish my degree and I did not receive the full certifications that I should have received.  This step will need to be thought out a lot more specifically as the year goes on because there are many certs out there, but I am not at the level I need to be (and might not ever be) for some of the higher level certs.

Ok..  I am burning myself out at the moment, so need to end this for now.  I will work on this more, flesh out the categories more, blog about specific areas, and generally start putting together a plan of action to achieve as many of these things as I can and, hopefully, work towards defeating the motivation monster.

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